Roses by Leila Meacham


Synopsis from Goodreads: Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.

Number of pages: 700
My review: Since Roses was so long I’m breaking this review down into four sections (one for each part in the book).
Part One: (this part of the review is based solely on part one of the book, and before I had finished the whole story)
Okay, I’m literally trying to write this as quickly as possible so I can get back to reading! Our main character, Mary Toliver, starts out in the 1980’s and she is an old woman. Mary is meeting with her lawyer, Amos, and instructing him on who to give her plantation, Somerset, to. Once a few bombs have been dropped within the first chapter, and we are introduced to a few characters (only by name, most are not yet met) and then we are thrown back to the 1910’s-1920’s when Mary is a small child.
And oh the heartache! I fell so deeply in love with these characters and when they ached, I ached. the writing was impeccable, and flawless. It was, simply put, elegant.
All the blunders and situations Mary had to go through cut to me so deeply. And the romance! Steamy! But so heartfelt and instead of just telling and telling, Leila Meacham showed us how different characters were in love.
Often I was going through battles in my own head where I would be thinking, “What would I choose? The love of my life? Or my family’s home and plantation?” These internal struggles helped me understand what Mary was going through. Plus, I was tearing up at many moments *sniff sniff* where are my tissues?
Then, BAM back to the present where we move onto part two from Mary’s grandniece’s perspective for a little bit (Okay I may have read ahead a little). I hope part two is just as good as part one!
The last 3 Parts: So the reason I didn’t separate these parts was because I was too excited to keep reading and couldn’t sit still long enough to write a review!

I cannot believe how many times I was grabbing for tissues through the course of this book.
The grief each character felt, resonated within me, and my heart was aching for all the characters who lost years of their lives due to misunderstandings and miscommunication.
However, that really shows that life is cruel. Too often these days, books are sugarcoated and things always work out in the end. It’s safe to say that’s not true for every character in Roses. And I was, surprisingly, okay with that.
I also want to take a second to talk about the cover. It’s gorgeous right? Good, I think so too. But then there’s that one line of text that says: “Like Gone with the Wind as gloriously entertaining as it is vast.”
Um. Honestly, the only similarities it has with Gone with the Wind (which, yes I have read) is the plantation aspect and stubborn women holding onto their land. I think the quote is a little misconstrued. Also, the gloriously entertaining and vast stuff is true too.
Although, I must say, the comparison to Gone with the Wind with that quote on the cover is what ultimately convinced me to buy Roses (since it is such a huge monstrosity of a book at 700 pages!). Either way I enjoyed it all the same.
If you like reading about love, romance, plantations, and the 1900’s, you should definitely pick this up!
See you soon,

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